Category Archives: Art and Craft

Wonders of the World

The Brickman “Wonders of the World” exhibition was in Brisbane this past week

and we almost didn’t go.

The price!  Ouch!

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But, at the last minute, we snagged some discounted tickets

and we’re so glad that we did!

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This exhibition was brilliant!

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We spent between two and three hours exploring the exhibits

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and building our own creations.

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The theme, obviously, was Wonders of the World

and there were plenty of wonders to see.

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(It was also amusing and horrifying to listen to people talking about the exhibits.

According to one person, the Christ the Redeemer statue is in Rome.

And here I was thinking it was in Brazil.)

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We enjoyed revisiting wonders we have seen in real life.

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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Ancient Wonders still existed?!

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At the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

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a little Lego sculptor was still hard at work creating the exhibit for us.

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Over at the Temple of Artemis

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we saw a sacrifice to the goddess.

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And if you look closely,

you can see just how much research went into the accurate design of these buildings.

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We were impressed!  🙂

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Many of the exhibits were almost as breathtaking as the originals.

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The Notre Dame Cathedral is a building I would love to see in real life.

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Of course, the Notre Dame isn’t complete without Quasimodo.

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While the exhibits as a whole were impressive,

it was the details of each that appealed to us the most.

Almost all of them were cut-away models,

which allowed you to peer inside.

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Guess what we found behind the Hollywood sign?

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No, not graffiti, although that was included to enhance the authenticity of the sign.

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You’ll never guess.  I’ll just have to tell you.

We found ELVIS!!

He’s living in a subterranean room behind the Hollywood sign!

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“Wonders of the World” is quite a large exhibition with displays in several rooms,

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many of which are simply breathtaking.

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The Arc de Triomph is another wonder I’d love to visit.

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Just look at the detail on this model.

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Such attention to detail.  🙂

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Even the scenes around the models were fantastic.

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But, my absolute favourite model and building

is St Basil’s Cathedral in Russia.

Isn’t it gorgeous?!

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Everywhere you looked, in and around this building,

there was something interesting and amusing.

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If you know your history,

you’ll know whose statue is being pulled down.

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Did you see the fallout shelter under the statue?

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What about the Mutant Ninja Turtle about to collect some pizza?

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For the Minecraft fans, there’s even a creeper to be found,

if you look carefully.

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There’s even another Aussie stripped down to his budgie-smugglers?? (aka swimmers)

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I think the biggest crowd-pleaser was the Titantic model.

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Isn’t it fantastic?

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We spent the most time at this model as there was so much to see –

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people clinging to the decks for dear life,

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crowding onto life-rafts,

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the ultra-rich hogging life-rafts in order to save their treasures,

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and this dedicated postie who continued to sort the mail even in the freezing Atlantic waters.

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There are even scenes that you can see through some of the windows.

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Throughout the exhibition, we were also hunting for Eddie the Explorer.

He’s hidden in many of the scenes.

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We hunted high

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and low for Eddie.

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We found saw strange characters

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and even saw Harry Potter and his owl on a bus in London,

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but, we only found a certain number of Eddies.

No, we can’t disclose that number

as you have to enter the number into a Lego competition.

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There were so many masterpieces at this exhibition,

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as well as lots of opportunities to make your own Lego masterpieces.

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If you are thinking about going to Brickman’s “Wonder of the World” exhibition,

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save your Christmas money and definitely buy tickets!

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It is worth every dollar.

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We loved it!

(P.S.  Brisbanites, tomorrow is the exhibition’s very last day in Brisbane so run, don’t walk, to get tickets!!)

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Posted by on December 13, 2016 in Art and Craft, Field Trips, Geography, Technology


Killing Time At the Gallery

We had a little bit of time to kill the other day,

so we wandered down to the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)

to check out the “Sugar Spin” exhibition.

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As soon as we got through the door,

we were confronted with this massive fluro hairy installation

that spread up and across the walls.

Kind of bizarre.

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But, we didn’t stop there for long,

as we were headed for the larger than life “In Bed” sculpture.

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Doesn’t she look realistic.

I just wanted to reach out and touch this sculpture

to confirm for my brain that she wasn’t real.

But I didn’t.  I’m not a gallery rebel.

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I have a bit of a love-hate thing going on with Modern Art.

Some of the pieces are just weird and ugly,

while others are weird but kind of alluring and beautiful.

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The curious and outlandish nature of Modern Art just draws me in.

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There is some beauty to be found in it,

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even if it’s a bit twisted and distorted.

We saw one of these PixCell deers in New York.

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The one in New York was much nicer.

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Anyway, our forty minutes at GOMA was quickly over,

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which Hubby was very thankful for.

He’s not a Modern Art fan at all.

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But I think the boys and I will return to “Sugar Spin”

after the school holiday rush.

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Posted by on December 13, 2016 in Art and Craft, Field Trips


Art…in the Shower

Sticking artworks to the shower counts as ‘doing art’,

doesn’t it?

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Yes, I seriously did stick artworks to our shower.

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I printed out a bunch of artworks for us to study over the term

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and stuck them in my usual spot – on cupboards.

But I decided that I needed a more visible spot.

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So I’ve been sticking them to the shower!

Now, while all that expensive water is going down the drain,

my boys are studying art.

Tick √

Art is done.

(PS.  I just had a brainwave. 

I could give them their old bath crayons and they could make reproductions!


(PPS.  Yeah, perhaps it’s a little creepy having two old people watch you shower.

It’ll be especially scary when I stick Munch’s “The Scream” on the shower. 


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Posted by on October 19, 2016 in Art and Craft


Lino Printing

Did anyone else do lino printing in high school?

I did.

We had to carve an Aboriginal-type design.

I remember it fondly.

Such memories always affect my homeschool plans.

In this case, I was determined that my boys would have a similar experience at home.

So I tracked down some lino printing kits online.

This is the one we purchased:  Derivan Lino Printing Starter Kit.

Lots of online art suppliers sell it.  (The site we purchased from seems to have disappeared.)

In addition to the kit, I purchased better quality, slightly larger lino squares than those provided in the kit.

(I purchased Silk Cut Lino Squares.)

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Then, I thought we were ready to start,

when I heard about ‘guards’.

When we did lino carving at school,

we were expected to keep our hands away from the blades

and our teacher handed out bandaides to those who didn’t.

But, nowadays, safety is top priority so they have these things called ‘guards’.

They hold the lino in position while you carve

and they also protect your surface from over-zealous carvers.

Guards sounded like a great idea so we decided they were a necessary item.

However, their price was ridiculous for what they were

so I decided that we’d make our own.

Okay, I held the camera and provided the students,

and Grandad was in charge of the woodworking instruction.

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Grandad did all the cutting.

I wasn’t letting my babies’ fingers near that great big saw thingie!

(Mothers really shouldn’t be in attendance when their little men need to learn how to be proper men.

I’ll remember that for next time and send hubby.)

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So the boys did the drilling and screwing,

with Grandad’s assistance.

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Our guards were very basic.

Merely a square of wood with two lipped edges on alternate sides.

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The concept is that one lip holds the guard to the table

so it doesn’t move as you push away from the edge with your carving tools.

The other lip holds the lino in place and also prevents blades from running over onto the table.

With our guards constructed and our lino kits purchased,

we were ready to start designing and carving.

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For our first lino carving, I emphasised simplicity of design

so they could focus on learning to carve.

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Brayden had very grand plans in mind

but I held him back a little

and restricted him to something a little less intricate than he had initially planned.

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And, very quickly, he appreciated my intervention.

He was a little frustrated that it was harder than he was expecting.

It’s not exactly difficult, but it does require physical effort, endurance and a lot of perseverance.

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I was really pleased that the boys stuck at it

and worked all afternoon to complete their carvings.

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By the end, their hands and fingers were definitely sore

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but they were so pleased with their carvings

that they hardly seemed to care.

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Brayden, our Star Wars fan, carved a storm trooper mask

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and Ethan, our Minecraft fan, carved a pick axe.

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And myself

– yes, I ordered a kit for me too –

I carved an interlocking type design.

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My design took several days to complete.

(I started work before the boys so I could offer them tips from my experience.)

Oh and you’ll be pleased to hear that

no fingers or tables were scarified during the carving of these pieces.

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A few days after our carving afternoon,

we printed our carved designs.

Our kit provided everything we needed

except a surface to place our ink on so we could apply it to our rollers.

For this, we used the glass from an old photo frame.

Everything about the printing process was easy.

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Just make sure to properly cover your carvings with ink.

We would peek under the paper

to check if we needed to apply more ink to areas.

(The ink was so tacky that there was little fear of moving the paper while peeking.)

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Here is Ethan’s finished printing of his pick axe.

He was very pleased with it.

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Also make sure that the carvings are dusted free

from all stray pieces of lino.

These also interfere with the final printing.

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I loved watching the boys’ face as they revealed their printings.

They were very pleased with their prints.

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This is Brayden’s storm trooper.

It turned out pretty well I thought.

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And this is my print.

Yes, I’m equally pleased with my print.

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Lino carving and printing is definitely an activity that we’d highly recommend.


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Posted by on August 14, 2016 in Art and Craft